Pencils are sharpened, book bags are packed and parents are preparing to send the kids back to school today.
As classes resume this week, Island RCMP are asking motorists to pay attention around school zones and when encountering school buses.
“It's soon time we will see school buses on our roadways and children running to catch the bus,” said Sgt. Leanne Butler, in a release issued this week. “Each year we regrettably see vehicles drive past stopped school buses when they are supposed to stop. This is a very dangerous practice and puts the lives of our children at risk.”
The fine for "meeting or overtaking school bus when flashing red lights are displayed" is up to $5,000 and eight demerit points. Most drivers are only told about the rules for passing a school bus with flashing red lights when they learn to drive - often many years ago.
“We would like to remind all drivers of school bus safety practices when school buses are stopped with their yellow or red lights flashing,” added Butler. “When you see a school bus, assume children will be around and take extra care - leave lots of space around the bus.”
When the bus turns on the flashing yellow lights - this means it is about to stop to pick up kids. Slow down and prepare to stop.
When the bus turns on the flashing red lights - this means stop in both directions.
“Never pass a school bus with flashing red lights in either direction. Stop well back from the bus. If you have any doubt what to do - STOP!”
School zones are another area where the Mounties want to remind drivers and students of safety tips and be aware of. Speed fines are doubled in P.E.I. when speeding in a school zone.